Walking across the crowded New York City streets, we bump into more than our fair share of characters. Face-to-face with extremity, I search around it, for purpose. On my way to HomeGoods, I saw a man whose face was covered in tattoos. As we passed each other, I could feel him watching me, wanting me to watch him. I have spent a lifetime playing the part of someone more subservient than the person that I want to be. Have given in, when I knew I shouldn't (when I didn't want to), to appease others. So, in light of the many ways I'm trying to grow, I stared straight ahead, instead of giving into his display. Instead, I pondered purpose.
What would possess you to tattoo your face? Like that episode of Grey's Anatomy, where the guy elected to be a cat: Are we so unhappy with our form that we would opt for feline? Or are we so starved to be memorable that we would mark ourselves? I won't forget tattooed man but that remembrance doesn't come from respect or a chance encounter, it serves as a sort of cautionary tale.
It also makes me wonder, though, what I would look like, if everything inside me lived on my face, for the world to see? If maybe he wears his tattoos like badges of honor or scars he can't seem to shake? Instead, I hide those things away; a thick layer of flesh to cover the ticking of my heart. Time turns us all into bombs.
Each time we are broken open, we rush to tape over the parts of ourselves that have been made vulnerable like, if they see what the world looks like, they won't ever recover. And maybe they won't. My eyes didn't used to be so blue but they've gotten sadder with age. Turned the color of water, from all the waterworks. So I hide them under large spectacles. Afraid to become a spectacle. Afraid they might fall out, electing to see not at all than to see this.
Truth is we can't unsee things. Like men with too many tattoos or text messages not meant for us. Or truth. Truth is the hardest thing to unsee. Once you do, it's written all over your face.
This is Me:
My name's Melissa. I'm the girl with her hands in her journal.